Western and Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures | 06 December 2017

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Lot no.

108

Two tracts on Chiromancy and Neomancy : a general manual of the subject and...

Sold for £6500

Est: £2000–3000

Two tracts on Chiromancy (the prediction of the future from lines on hands) and Neomancy (prediction from moles on the body and marks in the nails): a general manual of the subject and another entitled ‘Alia Chiromantia, id est Scientia Manus’, in Italian and Latin, manuscript on paper [Italy (Mantua), dated 1574]

55 leaves (plus a title page and a blank paper endleaf at front and back), complete, contemporary foliation, first text (pp. 1-83) with single column of 34 lines in a loose hand, titles in larger script, 245 diagrams of hands (including 1 full page) each with short section of text explaining the meaning of various lines, second text (pp. 82-105) with single column of 33 lines in same loose hand, titles as before, 4 diagrams of hands (2 full-page, others showing angles of lines, and marks on the fingertips), the volume ending with some pages with tables of planetary symbols showing advantageous times for performing readings (the first full page and named ‘Horae planetariae’), numbers and planetary symbols assigned to various letters, slight ink-burn (but without damage to script or paper), overall good and presentable condition, 210 by 160mm.; parchment over thin pasteboards, some thongs broken at front and small holes in parchment at joins to spine

From the library of Pietro Vergani of Milan: his ex libris in tiny script inside front pastedown: “1870 26 febr. Del libr[aio] Pietro Vergani in Mil[an]o per mezzo del rivend. di libri sig. Bacigaluppi di Chiavari in genn[aio]. Mss. del s. XVII”

The subjects of chiromancy and neomancy were popular in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, despite condemnation by the Church. The works of Gaudentius Tarvisinus on chiromancy and neomancy were already on the list of prohibited works in the Tridentine Index of 1564, a decade before the copying of the present manuscript. All apparently unpublished.

Western and Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures

Wednesday 06 December 2017, 2.00pm

Bloomsbury London
Bloomsbury House
24 Maddox Street
London
W1S 1PP

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